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Gateau Surprise Chocolat Pistache

Note: I apologize for the quick post you read here but I still have company for another week or so and it seems that I am fullfilling my godmother part pretty good. Sophie is quite busy having made some friends her age and discovered the joys (hmm,hmm…) of dating in America. Yes, French people have different dating rules and "games". I try to calm her nerves while waiting for the stupid "three days no call" rules that guys like to play here. In the meantime, I am making her cakes!!

You know a cake has to be good when it pops up over the years on some of the best food blogs out there. I hope I will carry the torch with honor. Clotilde presented the original and Heidi and Jen made some perfectly mouth watering renditions. The cake appealed to me so much that I made it the exact same say I read about it. The only thing that surprised me is in the lengthy steps undertook by my predecessors in mixing the two different batters. The original recipe they followed called for making the chocolate batter first, then rinsing the bowl to prepare the pistachio one. I don’t know about you, but in a 100F + weather and very little intention to mix, rinse, mix, bake, wash, I knew I had to come up with an easier way to achieve the same result.

I remembered my beloved zebra cakes, or my mom’s comforting marbled chocolate-vanilla cake and decided to go the same route: make one plain batter, divide it in half and add to each part the elements they needed to create both the chocolate and pistachio batters. I wouldn’t call this blasphemy, just practicality…especially when a mob of hungry teenagers was starting to crowd my kitchen!

Gateau Surprise Chocolat Pistachio, adapted from this blog:

Makes 12 cakes

270g plain all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
1½ cups plain yoghurt or sour cream
1½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup shelled pistachio, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 12 small paper cake cases.
In a food processor mix together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, pulsing in between each addition. Add in the yoghurt and the vanilla extract, pulse again. Add the baking powder, baking soda and all of the flour. Divide the batter in half. In one half, add the cocoa powder, in the other the pistachios and chocolate chips. Then using an ice cream scoop, place one scoop of batter into each paper case. Rinse the scoop and add the pistachio batter on top of the chocolate.use an ice scoop to place the pistachio batter on top. Smooth out the surface using a spatula. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to rest for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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KJ August 19, 2007 um 6:38 am

I have been meaning to make this cake ever since I saw it on Jens blog.

But my to do list is just so long. Your gorgeous rendition has definitely pushed it up a few notches.

lululu August 19, 2007 um 7:24 am

i’m sooooooooooooooo gonna make it!!!!

can i try to make it into muffin?

Anonymous August 19, 2007 um 7:25 am

Mhhhhhhhhhhhh, ça a l’air excellentissime!

Rosa's Yummy Yums August 19, 2007 um 8:15 am

A yummy looking "gâteau"! It looks interesting…

Anonymous August 19, 2007 um 8:36 am

Gâteau surprise..?Je prends!!

Anonymous August 19, 2007 um 9:38 am

Superb photos !

Anonymous August 19, 2007 um 10:46 am

I’d love to be surprised by one of those! Beautiful!

Le Flâneur Novice August 19, 2007 um 10:46 am

I do thank you for your polite visit Tartelette 🙂

Only that jam sandwich cookies are not my work, but the rest is mine 🙂

I found that picture at a search in corbis, and fell in love with it.

It is a symbol of the magic world of desserts to me 🙂

And my next plan is to bake these cookies myself… Probably during the coming week, and will post my own cookies too 🙂

With love…

Anonymous August 19, 2007 um 10:48 am

oh yes !!! good !! délicious !

Anonymous August 19, 2007 um 11:30 am

des photos très alléchantes!

MyKitchenInHalfCups August 19, 2007 um 12:40 pm

Blasphemy, hahaha, I hardly think so.
I think that’s a heavenly chorus singing praises to Chocolate Pistache!
Sophie will never be the same and the memories she’s going to take home, oh my.

Meeta K. Wolff August 19, 2007 um 1:07 pm

I did not have a doubt in my mind that you would not make a good godmummy!! Who came up with that 3-days-waiting-to-call rule anyway. If any of those boys knew Sophie’s godmum was such a good baker they’d all be standing in a line! LOL! Looks delish!

Anonymous August 19, 2007 um 1:09 pm

ils me font de l’oeil aussi ces petits gateaux. Les marbres de ce style, j’aime beaucoup!

Deborah August 19, 2007 um 1:53 pm


LizNoVeggieGirl August 19, 2007 um 4:14 pm

I love this version of Jen’s recipe – they’re both so innovative, gorgeous, and unique! :0)

Anh August 19, 2007 um 10:26 pm

Beautiful… I love anything with pitaschio in it!

Nora B. August 19, 2007 um 10:48 pm

Helene, I did the same thing, i.e. dividing the batter in half. I use too many mixing bowls as it is when I bake.

Anonymous August 19, 2007 um 11:15 pm

another beautiful version! i bet they are delicious, and will have to find out for myself one day!

Anonymous August 20, 2007 um 2:35 am

Oh dating…not something I am looking forward to!
That first photo is incredible! Lovely job!

Cynthia August 20, 2007 um 2:35 am

These are wonderful Helen.

Warda August 20, 2007 um 12:20 pm

Looks like Sophie s’amuse bien! Helene where do you find those paper wrappers? I can’t find them anywhere.

Helene August 20, 2007 um 12:35 pm

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments!
Rose: I found the paper cases at Sur La Table when I visited Lisa. They are also available on their website.

Patricia Scarpin August 20, 2007 um 4:40 pm

These little cakes have been popping out all over the place – I feel like making them too, yours look wonderful!

Anonymous August 20, 2007 um 6:48 pm

bonjour helene,
ma fille se trouve en californie pour une année. elle voudrait faire de la patisserie mais a quelques difficultés dans les conversions. pourrais-tu m’indiquer en cup, les conversions pour les ingrédients les plus utilisés tels que la farine, le sucre, les noisettes ou amandes, le beurre.
Je te remercie infiniment, car sur les sites internet, pas un ne donne les memes infos.
Bien à toi

Aimée August 20, 2007 um 9:37 pm

Your cakes look like the best I have seen, Helen! Very adorable. It’s a little different cooking for teens, eh?

Lis August 21, 2007 um 12:35 am

Awww they look adorable and I love those lil papers! 😉

I’m glad Sophie is having such a good time! Well.. as glad as I can be for someone who misses you tremendously!


Amy August 21, 2007 um 7:44 am

How cute! I love the surprise of 2 colors when you break into the cake.

Anonymous August 21, 2007 um 11:21 am

I have seen this cake on all the blogs you’ve mentioned and each time I want to make it…and now your’s looking every bit as delectable as the ones that came before! I know there was a reason I waited…and that was for your reduced-steps! 🙂

Ack! The "3-days no call" rule! We have that here too…phooey to that!

Stella August 21, 2007 um 3:23 pm

I wouldn’t mind having such a delicious surprise like that!

Parisbreakfasts August 21, 2007 um 9:45 pm

If you’re going to carry the torch than shouldn’t you flambé that muffin/cupcake/gateau thing!
It’s funny how the French say Hum, hum
And we say one long Hmmmmmmmm
Just an aside 🙂

Kelly-Jane August 22, 2007 um 8:46 am


Belinda August 22, 2007 um 1:26 pm

You have such a flair for presentation to go along with your amazing talents in turning out all things yummy! These cakes look absolutely beautiful, so elegant and appetizing. I’m glad Sophie is having such fun…she will always have very fond memories of this special visit with you. 🙂

Anonymous February 4, 2009 um 2:26 am

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Anonymous March 11, 2009 um 12:44 pm

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